“Governments are instituted to ‘secure,’ not grant or create, our inalienable rights.”
— Thomas Jefferson, scholar, patriot, slave owner.
Last month, the first shot across the bow against habeas corpus, the very foundation of a free society preventing our inalienable rights from government oppression tantamount to forms of seventeenth-century slavery, was fired with Ohio’s unconstitutional ban on abortion. Last week, Georgia picked up the mantle with HB 481 (“the heartbeat bill”), as the state’s governor signed another law criminalizing abortion. As I write this, Alabama is following suite. A dozen states over the past few years have passed similar but smaller laws restricting access to women’s health care. All of this, with open admission by the Republican governors of these states, is to have these illegal laws stricken down in court with the express purpose of challenging the l973 landmark Supreme Court Roe v. Wade ruling through mostly conservative appellate courts and then to the mostly conservative Supreme Court.
For all intents and purposes, it is there that Roe v. Wade will go. The final nail in the Trump coffin is being hammered on human rights. Women’s bodies will affectively be considered slaves to the state. Abortion will result in jail time. If you have certain genitals your literal freedom is at risk. And it will open a future that allows the United States government to tamper inside the bodies of every citizen; man or woman forevermore. That is what is going down soon. And there is not a thing we can do about it.
To be fair, Trump is merely a tool of this scheme. It has been going on for years. While conservatives screamed about having “all of our guns taken away,” they slowly changed the court system and began chipping away at women’s freedoms with strategic amendments to impose draconian statutes on abortion. Ted Cruz or Jeb Bush would have done the same thing. What makes it weird is Trump is really pro-choice. He is only about attaching himself to whatever makes him win things like the presidency. So, even though it will go down that Donald Trump ended Roe v. Wade and those who voted him in will have their signature on this abomination, it is a larger, more sinister systemic slide toward in utero slavery that we must discuss and then deal with.
Now, on a personal level, I’ve expressed my philosophical conflicts in this space over the past two decades-plus on pro-choice v. pro-life. Unlike the First Amendment, which I think is sacrosanct, or some pro-choice supporters who meander on this subject, I willingly admit to abortion being a form of killing. This is not unlike the slaughter of say other mammals on the planet for sustaining human life or the justifiable murder we sanction through taxes and voting—like American bombings of Middle East villages with countless child casualties. Is not the Sandy Hook mass shooting a symptom of the Second Amendment? Sure. It’s not its aim, but gun people have to own it, so pro-choice people need to own this. But, are you giving up the right to bear arms because some kindergarten kids are massacred? Nah. Law is the law. And this is my pro-choice, or—more to the point here—habeas corpus argument. It is abjectly insane to allow a governing body the unchecked power over a human being in a purportedly free society. It makes no legal sense under our existing constitution. If they wish to add an amendment to strip habeas corpus and make a concerted mockery of the document, I am all for it, but if we are using it as an existing template to protect our rights, then to force humans against their will to do something within their bodies is simply a form of slavery and it is the very reason for the 1973 ruling.
The moral argument is, of course, always bullshit. There are a ton of laws that are immoral. The conscription law that freed the world in the nineteen-forties is completely immoral, as was the bombing of Japanese innocents to end it. Right now, there is a law that separates children from their parents and leaves them in cages at our southern border. Fuck morals. They are subjective and obviously malleable to your politics. This is why Evangelicals forgive this president’s rampant immoralities. Shit, for Evangelicals, who believe even thinking of sex is a sin against God, to turn away for a serial adulterer that brags on tape about grabbing pussy is all you need to know. They chucked all that morality bullshit for their pro-life movement. And I give them credit for this. Welcome to the world of secular opportunists. The high ground on morality has been ceded to a lying, womanizing, racist bully to jail teenaged rape victims!
But enough of that. It is time to speak to the women around us who are totally fucked by this. And this means generations, when the government will again have the power to enact forced abortions once we’re overcome with natural disasters due to ignored climate change. Trust me, there will come a time when the government will limit the number of children. It may be while your bones are rotting in the grave, but you’ll have that as a legacy. Nice work.
Ladies, it is important to first move to states that will allow you to control what happens to your body (or choose Canada, where it is legal and binding and never to be overturned), because the rescinding of Roe v. Wade will undoubtedly carry with it a state’s rights statute. This will appease the conservative wing of those 70 percent of Americans who support not having the government poking around in the uteruses of its citizens. In fact, last year when the judge who will likely push this over the top, Brett Kavanaugh, was in his controversial “Who did he rape and when?” appointment, only 37 percent supported him. Put a more direct way, twice as many people support Roe v. Wade than the guy who will strike it down.
If you decide to stick around oppressive states or live in this newly fascist country, then at the very least, women need to be way more aggressive about making sure that contraceptives are on the books for any future health care legislation—another way Republicans have been chipping away at this; think about it: you can’t protect yourself from pregnancy, and if you get pregnant, you have to have the baby or go to jail. Tremendous! Meanwhile, pills that help 70-year-olds get hard-ons come free with male health care. Fantastic!
It may be too late to stop the eradication of Roe v. Wade, but it’s time women finally mobilize and get a measure of takebacks. Come to grips with this: Roe v. Wade is toast. Your uterus and your daughter’s and her daughter’s will be owned by the state. Begin the post-apocalypse by considering your political life as a woman—not with an economic or anti-war or pro-war or religious principled vote. Your gender is under siege. So, it is time to push for the Equal Rights Amendment. Use it to topple anything that takes away your inalienable rights, which by definition “cannot be surrendered, sold or transferred to someone else, especially a natural right such as the right to own property.” You know what’s your property? Your organs. Imagine! Your house. Your car. Your apple tree and the parts of your internal being. An Amendment will supersede unlawful Supreme Court decisions and finally and properly protect them from government invasion.
The insurgence of women into Congress in 2019 is a nice start.
Don’t tread on me.
Abolish the coming enslavement of your uterus.
This is on the clock now.
Get to work.
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James Campion is the Managing Editor of the Reality Check News & Information Desk, and the author of Deep Tank Jersey, Fear No Art, Trailing Jesus, Midnight for Cinderella, Y, Shout It Out Loud—The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon, and Accidently Like a Martyr—The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon